The Hague Tribunal announced that the former officer of Army of Republika Srpska Momir Nikolic was temporarily set free already last summer, although he did not serve two thirds of 20-year sentence for the persecution of Bosniaks from Srebrenica.
By the decision of the Tribunal President Theodor Meron, Nikolic was released from the prison in Finland on July 1st last year. That decision of the Tribunal was held in secrecy until yesterday, when it was published.
Nikolic, who was the Chief for Security of the Bratunac Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska, was the first officer who in May 2003 pleaded guilty for participating in the implementation of operation of systematic killing of around 7.000 Bosniak men and deportation of women and children from Srebrenica.
According to the trial verdict, Niklic was sentenced to 27 years in prison, but the Appellate Panel of the Tribunal partially approved his appeal and sentenced him to final and binding verdict of 20 years.
Momir Nikolic was the key prosecution witness in processes against those accused of genocide and other crimes in Srebrenica – Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic, officers of the Army of Republic of Srpska led by Vujadin Popovic and Ljubisa Beara, and others.
Momir has been in Tribunal’s custody since 2002 when he was arrested in B&H, and in 2007 he was transferred to serve sentence in Finland.
Reaching the decision on provision release of Nikolic, the President of the Tribunal Meron took into consideration the positive report of the Finnish authorities on Nikolic’s rehabilitations, as well as the assessment of the Hague Prosecution that Nikolic significantly cooperated.
Judge Meron estimated that the arguments in favor of the release before the expiration of the sentence have more weight than the very serious nature of the crimes in which Nikolic, by his own admission, participated and the fact that he has not served two-thirds of the sentence, which was a condition for provisional release in the practice of the Tribunal so far.
(Source: klix.ba/ photo bhrt)